Report: Blues Under-23s 0 Sheffield United Under-23s 1

An early goal decides this PDL North encounter.


Blues Under-23s fell to a home defeat in their final PDL game of the year against Sheffield United.

Steve Spooner’s men fell behind early-on after a set-piece was converted by the visitors after just six minutes, with the game providing few clear-cut opportunities as play progressed.

Trialist Jonathan De Bie started in goal for Blues. The 20-year-old was last on Spurs’ books and is a Belgian youth international who has represented his country from under 15s through to under-19s.

Adan George made a substitute appearance. Whilst on a standard loan at Walsall, George remains eligible to play non first-team football for the Club if given permission by the Saddlers. 

The Blades took the lead inside six minutes. The lively Zak Brunt won a foul down the Sheffield left after being fouled by Josh Andrews. The delivery into the box was inch-perfect, Jean Belehouan who got the final touch, poking past the helpless De Bie in the Blues goal.

After a period of calm following the early goal, Blues’ first chance of the first-half came after good work down the left through Djurovic, his pass released Miguel Fernandez. He drove towards the penalty area but his cross across the penalty box failed to find a Blues shirt and the Blades were able to clear.

With the game settling, Blues defender Josh Dugmore was booked for a late tackle after 15 minutes.

But halfway through the first-half, the visitors had the opportunity to double their lead. A free-flowing move down the right saw Oluwafemi Seriki whip in a wicked cross across the penalty box, which was begging to be poked towards the goal. Neither team could make contact though and the ball was eventually cleared.

Steve Spooner’s men continued to press their opponents and it nearly paid off as the half hour mark approached. Fernandez superbly took down a lofted pass just outside the penalty box and laid the ball off to Andrews who took just one touch before unleashing a rasping drive from around 25 yards out, which skidded past the left-hand post.

The commanding figure of Josh Andrews was beginning to have more of an impact as the game edged towards half-time. On several occasions, he was able to lay the ball off to teammates in good positions but the visitors did well to stamp out any potential danger.

It was Blues who had the final opportunity of the half, a driven Stirk corner found captain Joe Redmond who could only nod over having climbed above his marker.

Half-time: Blues U23s 0 Sheffield United U23s 1

After the break, the away side wasted no time in getting down the Blues left. A Brunt pass looked destined to find Blades forward Daniel Jebbison but Nico Gordon brilliantly read the play to cut out the danger.

The lively Fernandez found space down the right shortly after and when he skipped past a defender and drove into the penalty box, Blues would’ve hoped the Spaniard could’ve done better than just firing into the side-netting with men in the box.

George replaced Jake Concannon with around 20 minutes to play, the youngster back involved with the U23s.

Shortly after George’s introduction he was causing problems. A quick exchange saw him find space on the edge of the visitors box but his shot was driven straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.

Goals: Belehouan ‘6 

Blues: De Bie, Dugmore (Hurst), Djurovic, Stirk, Gordon, Redmond ©️, Campbell, Thompson-Sommers, Andrews, Concannon (George), Fernandez (Soldevila)

Subs not used: Sun, Rouse